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Copyright 2013 Natural Standard (
February 2012

Weight Loss for Urinary Problems in Diabetes

Weight loss may reduce the risk of urinary problems for individuals with diabetes, according to a new study.

Diabetes, also known as diabetes mellitus, is a chronic health condition where the body is unable to produce enough insulin and properly break down sugar (glucose) in the blood. Glucose comes from food and is used by the cells for energy. Glucose is also made in the liver. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, a large gland behind the stomach. Insulin is needed to move sugar into the cells where it can be used for energy needed for body processes.

In a new study, researchers randomly assigned overweight or obese women with type 2 diabetes to an intensive weight-loss program or a diabetes education control group. At the beginning of the study, 27 percent of the women reported having urinary problems.

After one year of treatment, significantly fewer women in the weight-loss group reported urinary problems, with 25.3 percent and 28.6 percent reporting problems for the weight-loss and control groups, respectively. Furthermore, of the women who did not have urinary problems before the study, significantly fewer participants from the weight-loss group reported problems after one year, with 10.5 percent and 14 percent for the weight-loss and control groups, respectively. The authors reported that each kilogram of weight loss was linked to a three percent reduced risk for urinary problems; however, there was no significant association between weight-loss and the resolution of urinary problems.

Additional research is needed in this area.

For more information about integrative therapies for diabetes, please visit Natural Standard's Comparative Effectiveness Database.


  1. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
  2. Phelan S, Kanaya AM, Subak LL, et al. Weight Loss Prevents Urinary Incontinence in Women With Type 2 Diabetes: Results From the Look AHEAD Trial. J Urol. 2012 Jan 18. View Abstract
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